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Grant number like: PR-50122-11

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University of South Carolina Research Foundation (Columbia, SC 29208-0001)
Greg Wilsbacher (Project Director: July 2010 to January 2014)

Research and Development
Preservation and Access

[White paper]

$300,000 (approved)
$300,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2011 – 9/30/2013

An Open Source Application for Image-Based Digital Reproduction of Optical Film Sound

Creating a one-pass system to capture accurately both image and sound in digital scanning. In particular, historians would benefit from the availability of this open-source software tool, since film constitutes a vital primary souce for research on the 20th century.

The University of South Carolina Moving Image Research Collections (MIRC) is collaborating with research faculty from the University’s Interdisciplinary Mathematics Institute (IMI) to develop an open-source software application to directly reproduce the optical sound tracks of motion picture films from digital scans. We seek $362,125 (of a total $465,905 budget), from the National Endowment for the Humanities over a three-year period to fund our collaboration and take our proven concept through development to deployment as an open-source and freely available application. Unless alternatives to current expensive approaches to digitizing sound films are found, access to most of this important material will effectively end as the commercial sector abandons support for traditional film screening equipment.